September 16, 2021

Temasek invests in US biotech firm Allay Therapeutics

By ellen

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Allay Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech start-up that makes pain relief products, raised US$60 million (S$80.45 million) in a Series C fund-raising round led by United States-based healthcare-focused venture capital firm Arboretum Ventures.

Temasek, Temasek’s subsidiary Pavilion Capital, as well as Temasek-linked Vertex Growth and Vertex Ventures HC participated in the round; there was no shortage of other crossover investors, including from Australia and Taiwan. Other investors included US-based NEA, Australian life science investor Brandon Capital Partners and WTT Investment, the Taiwan-based single family office of Fubon Group founder Tsai Wan-Tsai.

Founded in 2017, Allay Therapeutics aims to craft therapies for long-lasting pain management, hoping to reduce the need for opioid use after surgery. Its lead product, ATX-101, is a coin-sized implant that delivers painkillers to a targeted site over weeks.

The US-based biotech plans to spend the money to advance the company’s lead product into Phase 2B clinical trials, when its implant ATX-101 is to be studied for use in knee replacement surgeries in the US. Funds will also be used for future developments of its platform.

Allay Therapeutics, which has research and development teams in Singapore and San Francisco, intends to “advance at least one new clinical candidate into clinical trials each year”. It is currently building out its manufacturing capabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area to support future product launches.

Researchers have developed proof-of-concept of variations of new implants and injectable formulations, among others, it said.

Arboretum Ventures managing partner Nicole Walker said that the demand for total knee replacement surgery is “growing dramatically”, and with it, so will the “desire for non-opioid solutions” for pain relief.

“We believe that Allay’s technology platform offers unprecedented potential breadth in terms of applicability and therapeutic profile for pain management, an area in need of innovation,” she said.